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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Prayer Archives

A prayer to St. Andrew

posted by jmcgee

O glorious St. Andrew, you were the first to recognize and follow the Lamb of God. With your friend, St. John, you remained with Jesus for that first day, for your entire life, and now throughout eternity. As you led […]

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Lest we forget: happy new year!

posted by jmcgee

From the poetic pen of the Concord Pastor comes this beautiful prayer for this first Monday of Advent. I can’t think of a better way to begin a new year, and a new week:  With Advent begins a new year […]

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Pelosi on prayer

posted by jmcgee

“Do you think frequently of your father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., the former mayor of Baltimore? My father died the year I was elected to Congress, 1987. I think about my parents all the time, especially on Sunday when I’m at […]

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A prayer for Veterans Day

posted by jmcgee

God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation and have laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom. We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war, whose […]

“The souls of the just are in the hand of God…”

posted by jmcgee

The souls of the just are in the hand of God and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth […]

On kneeling: “On our knees, we’re the same height as our children…

posted by jmcgee

A gorgeous and thought-provoking meditation on something that seems to have fallen out of fashion: kneeling. From Heather King: The first time I went to Mass, in trembling and fear, I was shocked to see people kneeling. In the middle […]

O’Donnell: “Pray that the eyes of the voters be opened”

posted by jmcgee

“God is the reason that I’m running. If I didn’t believe that there were a cause greater than myself worth fighting for, if I didn’t believe that it takes a complete dying of self to make things right in this […]

A rosary for the unemployed

posted by jmcgee

In this “month of the rosary,” here’s something – literally – heaven-sent. Elizabeth Scalia has created a remarkable new way of praying the rosary that will be a valuable resource for people looking for work. She spoke about it on […]

A feast, and a first

posted by jmcgee

“O God, who bestowed on the Priest Blessed John Henry Newman the grace to follow your kindly light and find peace in your Church; graciously grant that, through his intercession and example, we may be led out of shadows and […]

A prayer for the pope’s trip

posted by jmcgee

Heavenly Father, we give honor and praise to your name.  All power is from you and we thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ, and for his sacrifice for us on Calvary. We humbly ask you to […]

Our Lady of Sorrows

posted by jmcgee

Image: “The Holy Virgin in Old Age” by James Tissot Can the human heart refrain from partaking in her pain, in that Mother’s pain untold?  Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, she beheld her tender Child All with bloody scourges rent. For […]

Some timely gospel truth

posted by jmcgee

Jesus told his disciples a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why […]

Happy birthday, Mary

posted by jmcgee

Father of mercy, give your people help and strength from heaven. The birth of the Virgin Mary’s Son was the dawn of our salvation. May this celebration of her birthday bring us closer to lasting peace. Grant this though our […]

“Praying for what?”

posted by jmcgee

“Of the astonishing and flattering number of people who wrote to me when I fell so ill, very few failed to say one of two things. Either they assured me that they wouldn’t offend me by offering prayers or they […]

Abandoned

posted by jmcgee

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures […]

Lord, hear our prayer: Benedictine sisters cope with tragedy

posted by jmcgee

Sister Denise Mosier, OSB August 26, 1943 – August 1, 2010 The tragic story of the Benedictine nun killed in a Virginia car crash has grabbed a lot of headlines — but so should this story, about how her community […]

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens …

posted by jmcgee

Julie over at Happy Catholic has tagged me, and asked me to name a few of my favorite things — or, at least, my favorite devotions. Okay, in no particular order: The Miraculous Medal Novena Chaplet of Divine Mercy Benediction […]

A rosary for the unemployed

posted by jmcgee

Leave it to The Anchoress to craft this beautiful and heartfelt meditation. Don’t you know someone who could benefit from this prayer? A snip: First Mystery: Jesus in Gethsemane Prayer: Lord, I feel stranded and abandoned. Although I am surrounded […]

Homily for July 25, 2010: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted by jmcgee

Outside Jerusalem, you can visit an unusual church that could be one of the most important – and most overlooked – in the world. It’s a little off the beaten path. Unlike most churches in the Holy Land, this one […]

Quote of the day, on Hitchens

posted by jmcgee

“I would say it is appropriate and even mandatory to do what one can for another who is sick; and if you believe that praying helps, to pray. It is in any case an expression of one’s deep hopes. So […]

Remember: the story behind The Memorare

posted by jmcgee

That first word — “Remember…” — gives meaning and hope to one of the most popular prayers of the Church, the Memorare. A deacon friend today asked me to whisper one for him. That sparked quite a few remembrances of […]

A Blessing for Fathers

posted by jmcgee

God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless these men, that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, […]

Prayer of St. Ephrem

posted by jmcgee

 Lord and Master of my life,   keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement,  lust of power and idle chatter.   Instead, grant to me,   Your servant,   the spirit of wholeness of being, humble-mindedness, patience, and love. O Lord and […]

Teaching kids it’s not “weird” to pray

posted by jmcgee

When was the last time your kids saw you pray? This columnist suggests it doesn’t happen often enough: Years ago, well before I had children of my own, I was giving a talk to the parents’ Sunday school class at […]

O Come, Let Us Adore Him…

posted by jmcgee

A special event tomorrow at the Vatican will shine a spotlight on eucharistic adoration — and reparation for sex abuse. From CNS: The Vatican is hosting two hours of eucharistic adoration “in reparation for abuses committed by priests and for […]

Prayer for Ascension Thursday

posted by jmcgee

Let us pray [on this day of Ascension as we watch and wait for Jesus’ return] Father in heaven, our minds were prepared for the coming of your kingdom when you took Christ beyond our sight so that we might […]

Prayer to St. Damien

posted by jmcgee

St. Damien, brother on the journey, Happy and generous missionary, who loved the Gospel more than your life, who for love of Jesus left your family, your homeland, your security, your dreams, Teach us to give our lives with a […]

For Mother’s Day: a blessing for mothers

posted by jmcgee

By happy coincidence, I’m celebrating several baptisms this afternoon. The blessing below is conferred on mothers at the conclusion of the rite: God the Father, through his Son, the Virgin Mary’s child, has brought joy to all Christian mothers, as […]

“They are the ones who sustain us every day…”

posted by jmcgee

This beautiful video couldn’t be more timely — or more necessary.

A Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

posted by jmcgee

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of […]

Deacon, will you bless me?

posted by jmcgee

I get that question a lot — as do many deacons, I’m sure. (Actually, more often, they ask me, “Father, will you give me a blessing?”  That ranks up there with “Father, can you hear my confession?” as one of […]

The handmaid of the Lord

posted by jmcgee

For today, the Feast of the Annunciation… “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of […]

A Deacon’s Prayer

posted by jmcgee

Dear Lord, be with me now as I assist the priest in the Holy Eucharist. Let my mind and heart be focused upon the mystery of your Presence, the mystery of Your incredible self-gift. You want to share your body […]

A Prayer for Presidents’ Day

posted by jmcgee

A Prayer for the Nation Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless […]

“Grant a sense of charity to all, including the referees…”

posted by jmcgee

“God, we ask your blessing upon all who participate in this event, and all who have supported our Saints. Our heavenly Father, who has instructed us that the ‘saints by faith conquered kingdoms … and overcame lions,’ grant our Saints […]

Blaise of glory

posted by jmcgee

When I was growing up, going to Catholic school in Maryland, it was a yearly winter ritual: every February 3rd, the Sisters of St. Joseph would line us up and lead us into the church, to receive a blessing of […]

“God, we bring before you today your people of Haiti…”

posted by jmcgee

The prayer below was sent to me by a friend. It was composed by Rose Marie Berger, who writes in Sojourners magazine. — Dcn. G. Most Holy Creator God, Lord of heaven and earth, we bring before you today your […]

The pope’s prayer for Haiti

posted by jmcgee

“God of all creation, as we weep with our family in Haiti, console us. In this time of crisis, open our eyes to look beyond the disaster to see Christ in our brothers and sisters in Haiti, as Christ sees […]

A prayer for migrants

posted by jmcgee

Lord Jesus, when you multiplied the loaves and fishes, you provided more than food for the body, you offered us the gift of yourself, the gift which satisfies every hunger and quenches every thirst! Your disciples were filled with fear […]

Our Lady of Guadalupe

posted by jmcgee

God of power and mercy, you blessed the Americas at Tepeyac with the presence of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. May her prayers help all men and women to accept each other as brothers and sisters. Through your justice present […]

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

posted by jmcgee

Let us pray, [on this feast of Mary, who experienced the perfection of God’s saving power.] Father, the image of the Virgin is found in the Church. Mary had a faith that your Spirit prepared and a love that never […]

“O Saint Nicholas, bountiful Father…”

posted by jmcgee

PRAYER TO ST. NICHOLAS OF MYRA O Saint Nicholas, bountiful Father and special Patron of our Byzantine Catholic Church. You are a shepherd and teacher to all who invoke your protection, and who, by devout prayer, call upon you for […]

“Now Thank We All Our God”: the story behind the hymn

posted by jmcgee

I suspect most Catholics don’t know the name Martin Rinkart. But this Lutheran deacon and composer left us a beautiful testament to faith and thanksgiving: he composed the hymn “Now Thank We All Our God.” Some details about his life […]

The Presentation of Mary

posted by jmcgee

Prayer for the Presentation of Mary from the Melkite Liturgy Troparion of the Vigil Today Anne brings us glad tidings, bearing in her arms the precious fruit that dispels all sorrow, the one being ever-precious fruit that dispels all sorrow, […]

For Veteran’s Day: a prayer by Fulton Sheen

posted by jmcgee

Our Father, who art in Heaven: give us, we pray You, the courage and the strength to stamp out the threat of paganism and slavery that hangs over the world today. Be merciful to all those who have died in […]

“Virgin Maria Auxiliatrix”: the hottest phrase on the web?

posted by jmcgee

Well, here’s something different.  It turns out that one of the top search terms on Google yesterday was “Virgin Maria Auxiliatrix.”  I’m not sure why, or what sparked this sudden Marian curiosity.  But my blog neighbor here at Beliefnet Mark […]

“Love is everlasting”: St. Theresa and a heart aflame

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Like most of us, I have people in my life that I have a hard time loving.  So this morning’s entry for the Office of Readings, for the memorial of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus (or Therese of Lisieux, […]

“Here I am, Lord”: birth as prayer

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

An alert reader wanted me to know about an essay by a friend of his, Susan Windley-Daoust, appearing in this week’s America magazine.  It’s a stunner: a beautiful and thought-provoking look at prayer and vocation, all seen through the experience of giving […]

Lord, be close to your servants who move into this home…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This morning, I was invited by a couple in my parish to bless their apartment.  This is one of the many unexpected joys of being in ministry, and it gives me a chance to meet people — literally — “where […]

How do you pray?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The New York Times magazine last weekend offered a long look at how people of various faiths and orthodoxies pray. It was written by a self-professed agnostic, so his point of view is clearly skeptical. But much of the article […]

The Triumph of the Cross

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Christ of St. John of the Cross” by Salvador Dali (1951) “The cross is something wonderfully great and honorable. It is great because through the cross the many noble acts of Christ found heir consummation — very many indeed, for […]

The Birth of Mary

posted by deacon greg kandra

“The Birth of the Virgin Mary” by Esteban Murillo (Louvre, Paris) Father of mercy, give your people help and strength from heaven. The birth of the Virgin Mary’s Son was the dawn of our salvation. May this celebration of her […]

A prayer before sex?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Um, yes. From CNS: A prayer for couples to recite “before making love” has been included in a new British book of prayers for married couples. The 64-page “Prayer Book for Spouses” contains prayers for every station of family and […]

Do you have a pet in your life that you love?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Then this little blog is for you. Further proof — if any were needed — that there is a blog out there for everyone. I stumbled on it last night and was charmed to find this lovely prayer by Albert […]

Hail, Holy Queen: heaven and earth resound the hymn!

posted by deacon greg kandra

Since we are convinced, after long and serious reflection, that great good will accrue to the Church if this solidly established truth shines forth more clearly to all, like a luminous lamp raised aloft, by Our Apostolic authority We decree […]

Contemplating…what?

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s summer and more of us are letting our minds wander. Over at The Anchoress, her mind is meandering through the hills of valleys of interior contemplation, and she stumbled upon this beautiful reflection, from a lady pursuing a religious […]

How long until we can tweet confession?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The day is fast approaching. Our Hebrew brothers and sisters can already tweet their prayers, according to this report: Want to tweet God? An Israeli university student has opened a Twitter site, twitter.com/thekotel, where prayers can be sent for placement […]

An Astronaut’s Prayer

posted by deacon greg kandra

Father, thank you, especially for letting me fly this flight.Thank you for the privilege of being able to be in this position, to be up in this wondrous place, seeing all these many startling, wonderful things that you have created. […]

A prayer for our nation

posted by deacon greg kandra

Let us pray [for God’s blessing on our country]… Father of all nations and agesWe recall the day when our country claimed its place among the family of nations.For what has been achieved we give you thanks;for the work that […]

Happy Father’s Day: A family prayer for dad

posted by deacon greg kandra

Blessed are You, God and Father of us all, for the gift of our father. Today we honor and thank him for the gift he is in our lives.His love for us is a reflection of Your divine love.Bless him […]

“Be his comfort, be his joy, be his strength”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Prayer for A Priest O Jesus, our great High Priest,Hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priest, Father [N].Give him a deep faith a bright and firm hope and a burning love which will ever increase in the course […]

Here comes the sun

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader sent this my way: a report about a fairly huge Corpus Christi procession in a corner of the country that’s not noted for being Catholic. From Washington state: Kimberly Daniels was busy watering her garden Sunday when hundreds […]

Need to kickstart your day?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Shuffle over to The Anchoress, who has posted today’s Morning Prayer podcast.

Want to feel inspired? Watch this

posted by deacon greg kandra

This video on YouTube is proving surprisingly popular — and just might spark new interest in one of the Church’s oldest devotions. Watch. It’s just plain great. You can read more about the video here.

“God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, hear the cry of the afflicted”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict XVI, places a note at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, in Jerusalem’s Old City, Tuesday, May 12, 2009. The prayer: “God of all the ages,on my visit to Jerusalem, the ‘City of Peace,’spiritual home to Jews, Christians […]

A Prayer While Doing Laundry: A Mother’s Day Psalm

posted by deacon greg kandra

I find you so close to me right here, dear Lord. Surrounded by the dirt and scattered clothing of my family, I find this an ideal spot to pray with you. No one comes near here so it is quiet, […]

“A Preacher’s Prayer” by Henri Nouwen

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Dear Lord… You have sent me into this world to preach your word. So often the problems of the world seem so complex and intricate that your word strikes me as embarrassingly simple. Many times I feel tongue-tied in the […]

National Day of Prayer: the sound of silence

posted by deacon greg kandra

Today was the National Day of Prayer, and if it seems like it was a much smaller deal than usual…well, it was. From the Boston Globe: President Obama’s latest break from his predecessor is drawing some ire among some Christian […]

The family that twitters together…

posted by deacon greg kandra

And now for something completely different: spiritual advice for the Facebook generation, from Ireland: The leader of Ireland’s four million Roman Catholics has urged social-network users to start sending daily prayers by text, Twitter or e-mail. “Make someone the gift […]

A prayer for May

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Throughout this month of May, let us offer our pleas to the Mother of God with greater devotion and confidence, so that we may obtain her favor and her blessings. Even if the grave sins of men provoke God’s justice […]

Leaving your mark

posted by deacon greg kandra

How deep is your faith? Take a look at these remarkable pictures of the impact that a Buddhist monk has had on his small corner of the world. According to the report: 70 year-old Buddhist monk Hua Chi has been […]

It is announced

posted by deacon greg kandra

Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,You have revealed the beauty of Your powerby exalting the lowly virgin of Nazarethand making her the mother of our Savior.May the prayers of this womanbring Jesus to the waiting worldand fill the void […]

Through a mother’s eyes

posted by deacon greg kandra

Tonight, as we have every Friday during Lent for the past several years, my wife and I will undertake a unique apostolate within our parish, leading a devotion known as “Mary’s Way of the Cross,” by Richard Furey. It looks […]

A precedent for the president: more Obama events are opening with a prayer

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those who are monitoring the presence of God in the public square might want to take a look at this: When Barack Obama’s presidential campaign contacted Ryan Culp last year to ask him to deliver a prayer at an Obama […]

Divine Mercy, indeed

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the passengers on that miracle flight that landed in the Hudson thinks that miracle may be due to something more than just divine intervention — perhaps, Divine Mercy. From Florida Catholic: Frederick Berretta humbly admits to being away […]

Everything you always wanted to know about Lent…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…but were afraid to ask. It can all be found right here, at this encyclopedic link put forth by Aggie Catholics. Want to know all about Lent, ashes, fasting and fish on Fridays? Look no further. This is a treasure […]

“Hail Mary, poor and humble woman…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,Blessed by the Most High!Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,We join in your song of praise, to celebrate the Lord’s mercy, to proclaim the coming of the […]

Indulgences: “Why are we bringing it back? Because there is sin in the world.”

posted by deacon greg kandra

During this year devoted to St. Paul, there’s been special attention in my diocese to something often overlooked in the modern church: indulgences. This morning’s New York Times takes another look at them, and what they mean: The announcement in […]

“A promise perpetually kept”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A number of prominent politicians popped up at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday in Washington, and offered some of their thoughts on prayer and belief: President Barack Obama and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair struck similar themes in remarks […]

“Fill our hearts with thankfulness”: Wuerl’s prayer for Obama

posted by deacon greg kandra

As was widely reported, the new president attended the National Prayer Service yesterday at the National Cathedral in Washington. (Among other things, for the first time that service included a sermon delivered by a woman.) Less widely reported is the […]

The lone Catholic cleric at the inaugural festivities

posted by deacon greg kandra

It was, as Rocco notes: Fr. Daniel Coughlin of the archdiocese of Chicago — who offered the closing benediction at the post-inaugural lunch in Statuary Hall. Coughlin’s prayer as delivered: Let us pray. Lord God of history,we have been blessed […]

Rick Warren’s inaugural prayer

posted by deacon greg kandra

The full text, below: Almighty God, our father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you, it all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory. History is your […]

Blessing the river

posted by deacon greg kandra

Our Byzantine brothers and sisters gathered recently in snowy Pennsylvania to continue a winter tradition: On a frigid, snowy Sunday afternoon, congregants and clergy from five local Byzantine churches celebrated their faith atop Veterans Memorial Bridge, singing a prayer as […]

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson’s invocation

posted by deacon greg kandra

This got a lot of attention when the news broke several days back. I suspect few actually heard the prayer when it was delivered. Reading it, it reminds me of the Dangerous Prayer of Blessing that was prayed over Henri […]

Let us pray: the presidential edition

posted by deacon greg kandra

Steven Waldman over at Beliefnet has compiled a pretty interesting archive of all known inaugural prayers through history. Did you know the practice didn’t begin until 1937?? Take a look and see what you think. Evidently, the presidential pray-ers never […]

Praying “that all shall be well…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

People crowd into a job fair in New Brunswick, New Jersey on January 7, 2009. From AP/Mel Evans The economic news this morning went from grim to grimmer, with unemployment hitting a 16-year high. Yesterday, the Concord Pastor offered this […]

“We come like the magi”: a prayer for the new year

posted by deacon greg kandra

We come like the magi,as wise and as foolish men and women to kneel before the Christ child.We bring our regrets from the past year,our shame, our guilt,acknowledging our failures and ready to begin afresh. Touch us with your hand […]

What’s on your iGod?

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’m a little late in posting this bit of technological wizardry, but the priest who developed this little marvel was kind enough to send me an e-mail (from Italy, no less!) and asked if I’d spread the word. I’m happy […]

A Merton meditation for Advent: “Lady, I am your deacon”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Since the diaconate, Our Lady has taken possession of my heart. Maybe, after all, she is the big grace of the diaconate. She was given to me with the book of the Gospels which, like her, gives Christ to the […]

The Immaculate Conception

posted by deacon greg kandra

“We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, […]

You’ve lost your job. Now what?

posted by deacon greg kandra

With more Americans facing that harsh reality during these harsh times, a number of Catholic parishes are stepping in with help. A glimpse, from Catholic News Service: The impact of the wave of layoffs in firms, factories, financial companies and […]

For the veterans, from Fulton Sheen

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“The great French preacher Lacordaire once said the vocation of a soldier is next in dignity to the priesthood, not only because it commissioned him to defend justice on the field of battle and order on the field of peace, […]

A prayer for the unemployed

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The headline of the day: Unemployment Rate Leaps to 6.5%, 14-year High.   I suspect, in the months ahead, that number will get higher before it goes lower.  And so, a prayer: O Saint Joseph, we pray to you for […]

A Wednesday prayer?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This morning, as is my custom, I had some deep conversations with myself in the shower. And I was wondering: if our show were on the air right now (it doesn’t debut until the spring), how would we cover The […]

Prayer before an election

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city, state, and country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community. We ask for eyes […]

All Saint’s Day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

God our Father, source of all holiness, the work of Your hands is manifest in Your saints, the beauty ofYour truth is reflected in their faith. May we who aspire to have part in their joybe filled with the spirit […]

Bring him home: a prayer for “Beloved and his family”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Anchoress has just posted a prayer request for a soldier who has been seriously wounded. The A writes: I cannot tell you his name – but if you could storm heaven for “Beloved and his family” at this time […]

Prayers, please

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Longtime readers may remember a deacon by the name of Tom Stonecipher; last year, I posted an item on him and his remarkable journey to the Catholic Church and the diaconate. Yesterday, the diaconate grapevine passed along news that Deacon […]

“Please God, help my 401(k)…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Is that sort of prayer, well…kosher? A writer at Time magazine decided to ask religious leaders in a position to know: Prayer is humanity’s conversation with God. And very often the prayer is a plea. It seems safe to say […]

A prayer at the start of a new job

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

At Thomas Merton’s hermitage, 2004 Words from the master, with a grateful h/t to Doug Souza: Take my life into Your hands, at last, and do whatever You want with it. I give myself to Your love and mean to […]

The return of “Quarant’ Ore”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Many parishes report a resurgence in Eucharistic adoration — and a few are going the extra mile (or extra day or two) with a practice that many thought had vanished: the 40 Hours devotion. Florida is seeing it return in […]

October 7th: Our Lady of the Rosary

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Madonna of the Rosary (with Mysteries of the Rosary)by Lorenzo Lotto(1539) Oil on canvasChurch of San Nicolo, Cingoli The Rosary is a way of contemplating the face of Christ seeing him – we may say – with the eyes of […]

Take two images of the Virgin, and call me in the morning

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Some people might file this under the category of “Dog Bites Man” — not news, and not all that surprising. But it’s interesting that the subject of prayer and contemplation is generating some serious study. This comes from a Catholic […]

When “thy will” may not be MY will

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Well, this really hit home. Over at The Anchoress, the venerable A herself has knocked one out of the park on the subject of prayer and fasting: I’m thinking we’re in the middle of a mystery, that this whole, odd, […]

“Please cure me, God. P.S. Our mortgage is subprime.”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The ridiculously funny and smart P.J. O’Rourke has just been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer, and has penned an honest but irreverent essay about it, including some thoughts on what he’s praying for: I can’t be the only […]

Prayer’s power on the frontal lobes

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What effect does prayer have on the brain? Michael Gerson at the Washington Post has an intriguing take: Elin Danien quietly listens to a meditation tape, eyes closed, as the radioactive tracer is injected into her IV, freezing a picture […]

A prayer for our times

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

With the election galloping closer, Rocco has posted several worthy prayers for the days ahead, including one invoking the Man for All Seasons, St. Thomas Moore, patron of “statesmen, politicians, judges and lawyers”: Litany of St. Thomas More, Martyr and […]

St. Pio: “Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Today marks the feast of St. Pio, Padre Pio — and the 40th anniversary of his death. Padre Pio has, in a remarkably short time, become one of the most popular and beloved saints in the Roman canon. Below is […]

“You are our Rock, O Lord”: a prayer in times of economic crisis

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Economically, it seems like we have walked to the edge of the Grand Canyon and peered over and watched pebbles fall noiselessly to the bottom. And all we can do is clutch a nearby railing and feel the tug of […]

A prayer in the morning

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It’s another spectacular September morning in New York City. And I can’t think of a better way to start the day than with this song of praise. Morning, all.

Now I lay me down to sleep…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

…but first, a little compline, courtesy The Anchoress. By this time, in a monastery, the Great Silence has commenced. A few retreatants may be in the guest house dining room, one solitary light flickering, as they pour another cup of […]

Prayer in time of sorrow

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What could be better on a Monday morning than prayer with The Anchoress? Give a listen to her lovely new podcast feature right here. My humble contribution to the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows can be found here. And […]

Our Lady of Sorrows: “Can the human heart refrain, from partaking in her pain?”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows Adriaen Isenbrant1518-35 Father,as your Son was raised on the cross,his mother Mary stood by him, sharing his sufferings.May your Church be united with Christin his suffering and deathand so come to share in his […]

Morning has broken — no chants

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Yesterday, a reader commented that while he appreciated the Morning Prayer from the Office of the Dead, as chanted by The Anchoress, he was wondering if anyone did that sort of thing without the singing. (I’m sure this was not […]

In prayer and remembrance

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

On this particular morning, sometimes prayer is the best balm. The Anchoress has risen to the occasion, and offers a podcast of Morning Prayer for the Office of the Dead. And below is a music video using images from from […]

Prayer for peace in the face of tragedy

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Shield of the fearful, Source of hope,as we mourn the sudden violenceand the deaths of our brothers and sisters,show us the immense power of your goodnessand strengthen our faith.Come swiftly to our aid,and have mercy on all who call on […]

The Birth of Mary

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Father of Mercy, give your people help and strength from heaven.The birth of the Virgin Mary’s sonwas the dawn of our salvation.May this celebration of her birthdaybring us closer to lasting peace.Grant this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,who […]

Deliver us…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

If you’d like some spiritual distraction from the noise and nastiness of this election year…try this on for size. The USCCB has published a Novena for Faithful Citizenship, designed to be prayed on the nine Tuesdays leading up to the […]

Sr. Catherine Pinkerton’s benediction

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A reader generously sent me this link. Take a look.

Cardinal Mahony’s moment

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Democrats open their national convention in Denver tonight. This is a good opportunity to look back at another Democratic convention, where a Catholic archbishop appeared before the delegates, and prayed. Thanks to Curt Jester, I was able to dig […]

Meanwhile, over at The Anchoress…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

…her online retreat is going gangbusters, and she’s just posted a heart-stirring meditation on energy: There are things seen, and unseen. Energy is seen and unseen, and all around us. God is all around us, too – seen amongst us […]

Retreating with The Anchoress

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

After many weeks of planning, The Anchoress is doing something altogether original. For the next few days, she’s leading an online “retreat.” I’m delighted and humbled to say that she’s asked me to be a part of this innovative enterprise, […]

“O glorious St. Lawrence, blessed deacon of the church…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

August the 10th marks the feast of a great deacon and martyr of the Church, St. Lawrence. He famously died while being burned to death on a grill. (Significantly, the feast day which precedes his, St. Teresa Benedicta of the […]

“An oasis for prayer” in Atlanta

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed some wonderful private retreats outside Atlanta, at the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit, in Conyers. But that’s not the only Catholic house for spiritual seekers in the area. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning profiles […]

A prayer for priests

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Since this is the feast of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, I thought it would be good to remember all our priests in a special way. I found this prayer online, and thought it was very meaningful: Almighty […]

Jingle writers set the rosary to music

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone wondering how the Church is using new media to reach the masses might just want to download this unusual selection to their iPod: the rosary, set to contemporary music. From the AP, via a newspaper in Salt Lake City: […]

Praying the hours, unceasingly

posted by deacon greg kandra

When I read this, I thought: “This guy sounds more Muslim than Catholic.” And I mean that in a good way. How many Catholics are this devoted to the Liturgy of the Hours? From the East Valley Tribune in Arizona: […]

Come, Holy Ghost: a Pentecost preview

posted by deacon greg kandra

Image: Pentecost, by Deacon Bernard Deschler, The Deacon’s Studio Almighty and ever-living God,you fulfilled the Easter promise by sending us your Holy Spirit.May that Spirit unite the races and nations on earth to proclaim your glory.Grand this through our Lord […]

50 reasons

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is a wonderful video, sent in from a reader (thank you, Mary!) that celebrates the rosary. Watch — and break out the beads!

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

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